Famous Films and TV Shows Filmed in Ireland
13 June 2019 -
There’s no doubt that Ireland is home to some spectacular countryside, vibrant cities and stunning coastline so perhaps it’s not surprising that Hollywood has visited its shores more than a few times. But you may be shocked to know which popular TV shows and films have used Ireland as their backdrop….
The Italian Job (1969)
Yes, you heard us right! While you could be forgiven for thinking this classic film starring Michael Caine was only filmed in England and Italy, in fact, all of the jail scenes were actually filmed in the very historic Kilmainham Gaol in Dublin, where the leaders of the 1916 rising were executed.
The Princess Bride (1987)
The Princess Bride has entertained audiences of all ages for more than three decades and is regularly voted as one of the greatest films of all time. However, did you know that the film’s ‘Cliffs of Insanity’ were actually the Wild Atlantic Way’s Cliffs of Moher! It seems almost..."Inconceivable!".
Despite focusing on the character of William Wallace and ‘Scottish Independence’, Braveheart, starring Mel Gibson, relied heavily on Ireland’s stunning landscapes for many scenes. Parts of the film depicting London were actually shot at Bective Abbey, County Meath and the Battle of Stirling Bridge was filmed on the Curragh Plains, County Kildare. In addition, scenes set in York were filmed at Trim Castle, County Meath!
Saving Private Ryan (1998)
Featuring Tom Hanks, Saving Private Ryan is another film that depicts a historic battle…but wasn't actually filmed there! Or even nearby. The iconic opening scene of the D-Day landings set on the beaches of Normandy was in fact filmed on a (rather lovely) beach in County Wexford.
Star Wars: The Force Awakens (2015) & The Last Jedi (2017)
One of the biggest franchises in modern film history used the island of Skellig Michael, off the coast of County Kerry, as a key location. The isolated and unique landscape lent itself well to the setting of the iconic series, becoming a temple for the Jedi. It was also used as the location for Luke Skywalker (Mark Hamill) to train the mysterious Rey (Daisy Ridley) in the ways of the Force. Visitors to Ireland can admire Skellig Michael’s silhouette from land on the Ring of Kerry route. The Last Jedi returned to the Wild Atlantic Way with Skellig Michael and Malin Head in Co Donegal featuring throughout.
Game of Thrones (2011-2019)
With Season 7 averaging an audience of 32.8 million views per episode, it is fair to say that a lot of people might be wondering where the TV series found its beautiful surroundings. Well, you got it – Ireland! Belfast is home to Titanic Studios where Game of Thrones is shot and you’ll find other filming locations across Northern Ireland too including The Dark Hedges, The King’s Road, Winterfell, The Wall and Dragonstone. There’s even a Game of Thrones museum in Belfast for dedicated fans!
Harry Potter and the Half Blood Prince (2009)
For all you Potter fans out there, you might be interested to know that during the sixth instalment in the saga, when Professor Dumbeldore and Harry battle with evil, the camera closes in towards the Cliffs of Moher, County Clare. You can also see the iconic pair standing on a very special rock which is in fact Lemon Rock, County Kerry.
Ripper Street (2012-2016)
While the show might be set in Whitechapel in the East End of London, it was actually the streets of Dublin that were used to recreate the Jack the Ripper era setting. Locations used include Kilmainham Gaol, Phoenix Park and Clancy Barracks, while Mulligan’s Pub is Detective Inspector Edmund Reid’s local on the show.
Vikings (2013 to present)
Based on Norse legends, this hit series follows the exploits of Viking ruler Ragnar Lothbrok. The show, about to be in its sixth season, is predominantly filmed deep in the Wicklow Mountains, which bear a striking resemblance to Scandinavian landscapes. Fans may also recall iconic longboat expedition scenes, as well as raids, shot at Lough Tay and Powerscourt Demesne.
King Arthur (2004)
Yet another film showcasing England – that was actually filmed in Ireland! This 2004 film starring Kiera Knightley was mostly filmed in Ardmore Studios, County Wicklow and Hadrian’s Wall was, in fact, Ballymore Eustace, County Kildare.
Ireland truly is a spectacular place to visit offering both iconic locations and hidden gems. If you’d love to experience the scenery, cities and coastline for yourself this year (or even visit a filming location of a much-loved TV show or movie), check out Just Go! Holidays’ Ireland tours.
Don't forget you can still £50 per person* off our Grand Tour Of Ireland holiday departing in September with our Autumn Getaways. Simply use code AE19 online at checkout or call 0333 2314 2010 and quote code to receive your discount.
*Valid on new bookings until 11th August. T&Cs apply.